Reviews

Snow, by John Banville

diannel_04's review against another edition

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3.0

Pretty predictable. I enjoyed it but not enough to read more by this author.

abbie_ohara's review against another edition

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1.0

this book literally should never been allowed to be publsihed - it disgusts me. could not even fucking finish this stupid thing

this is a perfect example of why i hate reading books by men - every single female character description or action feels totally alienating. These women are not people. At one point an entirely grown woman is quite literally described as a child! She's overly emotional and cries in every scene for absolutely no reason: dont get me wrong, emotions are good and fine and a cornerstone theme to literally everything from painting to books but there's no drive to it - she's emotional to the point where that is the point, the emotions go unexplored. they are not the focus, the are the background for which the male investigator must struggle around and overcome to find out what happened. Furthermore, every male character is completely rational and in the very few times a man ever displays emotion is is PIVOTAL to the plotline and gives the readers massive insight to the crime that is central to the plot.

Next up for poorly written women is the 17, yes: SEVENTEEN, year old manic pixie dream girl character (“She lived in her own mind, that was the fact of the matter.” legit wtf this is hilariously such a manic pixie cliche description the author sounds like a fucking fool I thought we as a human race chose to evolve from lines like this) that is depicted as having sexual tension with the grown man narrator (he describes her as virginal, she describes him as attractive and then takes off her underware??? for no reason - she's just a "bold girl" "cold air caressing her thighs"???????) - the dynamic between them was soooo lolita for me: she is describes as "exciting" and "beautiful in her own way" and VIRGINAL!!! ??? however we do not officially start sexualizing minors until about page 163 when we look all the way up her skirt so much can be said about Banville but not that the man doesnt have restraint! also all the women as so "small" and "delicate" (“He was twice, three times as strong as she was, he could break her wrist, or her arm” this really sums up how men and women are described in his book i think) oh my goddd i swearrrr this was so annoyingggg.

TW:// sexual assault
This book also, soooo casually its sickening, mentions that the seventeen year old was sexually assaulted when she was only a girl by one of her brother's friend's then immediately moves on and does not do anything to explore this or how it makes the young woman feel, it has no business being there and does nothing for the plot. it's clearly there for shock value and we can deem it as an archetypal example of "ultraviolence" against women in media. DISGUSTING! if elt so cold and diregarded as a woman in this scene. that's not even the end of it tho, its mentioned again right after a literal sex scene, two minors, which really hella obfuscates the defintion of consent even further and more directly (I mean honestly: when women ar forced to read violence against women in book scenes written in such a careless way, from a point of view that is clearly derrived by how men view r*pe culture its an extension of the violence we suffer - to have to be reminded how men do not take it seriously at all, do not understand the extent of suffering women endure under r*pe culture or their own continuence in real time of this violence by their normalizing tone - they become the wielders of power by making it seem casual and not that big of a deal) The following paragraph then described the male investigator walking by - by mentioning this man after a sexual assualt scene with the young girl i really felt that that lolita trope was coming to the surface - its subtle and maybe subconscious on the part of the author but this is why men shouldnt be writing for female audiences: he did not even consider 1) the triggering nature of his assault scene or the very difficult and life long emotions every woman has to deal with surrounding this type of rape culture society, even his manic pixie dream girl 2) hoe moving right from that to a grown man has certain implications!!

This all turned me off of the book, but I imaging that if I were to give it the time of day I would also find more problems with more basic things - for instance, the first POV transition happened wayyy too late in the book - the young woman begins to narrate around page 150. the time to have done this was when these characters first met each other in page like 50 or something - a POV shift this late was jarring and unexpected - it also really felt like a slight to the female character - I would have liked to hear from her when she was introduced instead of many chapters later - you have to ask yourself: is this character getting the exploration and time they deserve as an individual? because we get so many intimate moments and details w the male character - or is her perspective simply a tool being used to make his story make sense bc he wasnt smart enough to contain the story within a single perspective?

forever_amber's review against another edition

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2.0

крайно разочарована! жалко за прекрасната корица.
имах големи очаквания, толкова хвалби, награди... сюжетът беше сравнително тъп, а стилът е направо отвратителен... бих се почудила за вина на превода, но видях, че е на Иглика Василева, така че напълно му вярвам.

alnicholl77's review against another edition

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dark emotional sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5

leona_omahony's review against another edition

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4.0

A murder mystery sets in 1950's Ireland. This is the first book I've read by this author. It was an easy read and one which I got into very quickly. The story is set in County wexford in Ireland. A priest is found dead in the home of a well to do family. Detectives are sent from Dublin to investigate what happened. An entertaining and enjoyable read.

bethnellvaccaro's review against another edition

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4.0

This is not cozy and not filled with charming people but it is a very well-written mystery with great snow storm imagery.

bookrobin's review against another edition

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3.0

A short and fairly intriguing mystery if a bit predictable. Worth a read for the great sense of atmosphere and very enjoyable writing style.

am13ko5's review against another edition

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1.0

I read this book based on the reviews that I had seen on this site, I’m disappointed to say that the reviews all inflate this book far more that it should’ve been.

I persevered with this book (mainly because I don’t like leaving books unfinished) and hoped that it would pick up and start getting better. However, this book was slow from beginning to end and I found that nothing really happened until the last 50 pages.

The author managed to paint a nice scene of the snowscape town, however, the storyline let it down as it wasn’t engaging all the way through.

jesscad's review against another edition

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2.0

It took me forever to read this very slim book. And it was terrible.
I looked at the Kirkus and New York Times reviews for this novel, and while they weren't effusive, they were solid - Banville subverts the expected Agatha Christie eseque set up at every turn. Booker prize winner Banville has launched a new series.
Ugh. NO.
St. John Strafford is an Irish Detective in the 1950s. He's stiff, awkward, unsure he should have even become a detective, and doesn't seem to know how to ask a follow up question. During a snow storm, which seems portentous to Banville, but not to me (Who knows, I live in New York, snow is a fact of life, perhaps to the Irish, its more of a surprise) he's called out to a great old house in the country to investigate the death of a catholic preist. The people in the house are caracatiures, from the nutty second wife, the overly sexy daughter, the clueless Lord of the manor, the secretive and angry oldest son, the grumpy, housekeeper who can't cook, and the creepy kid who takes care of the horses. Its supposed to be a "locked door mystery" who killed the priest - in a grissly manner in the library of the grand old house when everyone was fast asleep.
But Banville practically shouts his big suprise ending by the first couple of pages, especially when you see the state of the priest body.
I was deeply satisfied to see Maureen Corrigan's review in the WaPo where she agreed that Snow was stiff, awkward and wholly predictable. Maureen - how could I have not sought you out sooner!

misty_1's review against another edition

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dark mysterious

3.0